The new White Swan Public House from Matt's in the Market owner Dan Bugge serves a menu masterminded by the chefs at Radiator Whiskey, Matt's dynamite across-the-hall sibling bar. Bugge describes this new spot, which opens tonight, as Radiator's seafood-oriented sibling, wherein shellfish and local albacore tuna get the same ruggedly gleeful treatment as Radiator's pig head and beef lips.
Longtime Radiator cook Josh Nebe oversees the open kitchen, dispensing plates like scallops with carrots, mint, lime, and crumbly bits of bonito. The excellently named "poutine o' the sea" consists of fries thickly scattered with bacon, scallions, and Littleneck clams, drizzled with a "chowder" reduction in place of cheese. There's plenty of meat, though—housemade bratwurst with cashew curry, bone marrow, short ribs with baked beans and a gremolata of pecan.
All of which to say, White Swan would be a supremely interesting destination for dinner, even if it didn't have a badass view. But it does. Oh, it does.
What its quarters at the Ocean Alexander Marina lacks in curbside visibility (look for the White Swan" sign, navigate the tricky parking lot, and walk around the building toward the water) it balances out with vistas of large white boats in tidy rows, paddleboarders navigating a sparkling Lake Union on sunny days, the lights of Queen Anne hill twinkling by night. When the wind shifts a certain way, say the kitchen crew, seaplanes descend directly over the ample patio. Much of that patio is dedicated, at least by day, to White Swan's neighboring fish and chips shack, the 100-Pound Clam. The 22-odd seats beneath the latticed roof belongs to the restaurant.
Inside, the open kitchen turns a corner into a proper bar area, all faced with painted shiplap (am I sensing a restaurant design trend in the making) and just nautical enough to reflect the watery surroundings without being themey. There's a booth up front, beneath the titular white swan sign, that holds about 10 people and an event room upstairs where the view is supposedly even better.
Oh, and apparently there's a hell of an oyster happy hour in the works.
The White Swan is open for dinner Monday–Saturday at 4pm. The website even has the opening menu for your perusal.